Every life is precious
Last updated 11/2/2007 at Noon
War is abhorrent to most everyone. Why is this? Is it because of the loss of life? Or is it because of a basic revulsion for conflict? Consider this: every life is precious to someone. Is it more grievous when a soldier dies than when someone is senselessly murdered or dies in an automobile accident caused by a drunken driver? There are approximately 12,000 deaths by murder in the US each year and about 10,000 deaths in automobile accidents attributable to drivers under the influence of alcohol. The combined total is about 100,000 since the start of the war in Iraq. This is greater than 20 times more than soldiers killed in Iraq. These deaths from murder and drunk driving accidents could be dramatically reduced if we had the will to do so. First, send drunk drivers to jail and keep them there until there is a reasonable assurance that they won’t be repeaters.
Second, replace the agenda for children from emphasis on their self-esteem to one of emphasis on consideration for others. Changes
won’t occur immediately but improvements would surely take place over time. Why is the murder rate so much lower in Britain than in the US? There are no hard figures on how many died in Vietnam (after the US left) trying to escape and at the hands of the Communists but it is generally conceded to be in the hundreds of
thousands (those lost in Cambodia must be included). And to suggest
that there would be fewer lives lost in Iraq if we leave precipitously (than if we see it through to a conclusion) is an exercise in self-deception. The sadism of the Islamic extremists needs to be confronted. The question is how, where and when. The letter writers who constantly bewail the war in Iraq never offer a positive policy for resolving this basic issue. Anyone can easily complain about someone else. It takes a thoughtful person to offer positive policy opinions.